You know that feeling of ultimate life affirmation, with the sun beating down on your skin, soft warm sand beneath your toes, and a world so colourful and serene that nothing else in the universe compares to this unique and exquisite moment in time? If your answer is no, then you probably haven’t been to Costa Rica before.
The most biologically intense place on Earth, according to National Geographic, Costa Rica is home to some of the most spectacular vistas and incredible species in the world. Simply put, it’s a treat for the eyes, but also for the soul, heart and mind, too. Think we’re over-egging it? Judge for yourself...
Coast to coast
A little Central American country nestled between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica enjoys a reggae vibe with the Caribbean Sea on the east and a surfer’s paradise with the Pacific on the west. Both coastlines offer devastatingly beautiful settings for any beach lover, but are very different to one another. On the east you’ll find palm-lined shores, calm azure waters with abundant sealife and occasional stilted wooden huts and jetties poking out through the smallish non-threatening waves – perfect for hammock lazing and cocktail sipping. On the west there are still palms and toe-satisfying sandy beaches, but the waves are big, the vibe is more energetic, and to visit without a surfboard tucked under your arm is frowned upon. When you go, because you will at some point, make sure you see both.
Seeing as we’ve spoken so much about the biodiversity and spectacular scenery Costa Rica has to offer, to go and not visit one of their national parks would be a travesty, worse than turning up boardless on the Pacific coast even. Luckily there are a few to choose from. If you get the chance you have to, have to, have to go to La Fortuna – the gateway town to Arenal Volcano National Park. It boasts sensational views of Arenal – an active volcano in the heart of the park surrounded by lush green vegetation, natural waterholes and falls. You should also take a dip in the hot springs while you’re there. Or head to Manuel Antonio National Park – a ridiculously beautiful park set on the Pacific coast crammed with rainforest, beaches, and coral reefs. It’s a magical place for spotting wildlife, from hundreds of tropical bird species to endangered capuchin monkeys, and Costa Rica’s famous furry, the laidback sloth.
Head in the clouds
Another unmissable experience has to be a trip to one of Costa Rica’s enchanting cloud forests. Otherworldly in appearance, and in stark contrast to the bright and sunny coastal areas of the east and west, these humid, misty forests are a sight to behold as you stand, bearing witness to nature breathing life into the atmosphere – prepare to return home a more thorough recycler and all-round better person.
Adrenalin junkies welcome
If daredevil sporting activities and death-defying feats are your thang, you won’t be disappointed in Costa Rica, quite frankly if you’re disappointed by anything in Costa Rica it should only be disappointment in yourself for being the type of person that finds anything to be disappointed about in Costa Rica. Anyway, if you’re looking for things to get your blood pumping, there are loads of crazy and fun activities to get excited about.
Zip lines: there are more weight-bearing wires for thrill-seekers to dangle from than you can even imagine in Costa Rica – and pretty good fun if you’ve got a head for heights!
White water rafting: as well as the gentler pastimes of kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding, Costa Rica has a fantastic white water rafting scene, and plenty of petrifying watery routes to have a go at it on!
Bungee jumping: home to Central America’s highest bungee, why not throw yourself off Monteverde Extremo (bungee cord attached) for kicks?
Skydiving: well, if you’re crazy enough to bungee, why wouldn’t you jump out of a plane?
Of course there are plenty of other activities to have a go at if you’re more safety-conscious, like dirt biking and horse riding...
Take a walk on the wild side
Did we mention Costa Rica’s wildlife? If you’re an animal lover of any description, this place has some pretty awesome reserves and sanctuaries for you to get up close and personal with some of nature’s finest fauna. Besides the hundreds of species of colourful birds, Costa Rica is home to jaguars, ocelots, pumas, crocs, monkeys, and sloths. Take a trip down to one of the marine centres to learn about the thousands of different underwater species, book yourself a diving trip and swim through the amazing corals, or head down to the beach and witness the clutter of baby sea turtles making a dash for the ocean.
Convinced you yet? If you’re interested in visiting but don’t know how to go about planning an epic enough journey to capture Costa Rica’s best bits, you could try our Costa Rica Experience trip where you can choose to spend either 16 or 29 days travelling through the heart of the country to the west and then east coast. National parks, volcanoes, beaches, village life, a party atmosphere, and volunteer projects are just some the incredible inclusions.
Want to find out more about our trips to Costa Rica? Give us a bell on 01892 277040 or chat to us online for guidance and advice.